SaturnFans.com
what's new (beta) - classifieds - forums - photos


Go Back   SaturnFans.com Forums > Models > Saturn S-Series > S-Series General
Register FAQ Members List Groups Calendar Chat Room Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-28-2012, 11:22 PM   #1
adventureoflink
Master Member
adventureoflink has a spectacular aura aboutadventureoflink has a spectacular aura aboutadventureoflink has a spectacular aura about
 
adventureoflink's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: 255.255.255.255
Posts: 6,853

1997 SL2
Wrench New or Returning S-Series owners' checklist Version 3.0

1. ECTS (Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor). This is one of several “hearts” of the system, which helps maintain fuel economy. The original ones from 1991-mid 2001 (it’s virtually impossible to tell when the changeover happened) were made of resin/plastic, which liked to crack, causing incorrect readings to the PCM. It should be noted that there are two sensors on the 1991-1995 S-series engines (the one wire sensor controls the temperature gauge; the two wire sensor is the actual ECTS), and 1996-2002 just have the two wire sensor only. The connectors also liked to leak and corrode, which also assists in telling the PCM “lies” about how the engine is running. You should replace this with a brass tipped sensor. While the connector can be cleaned out with some CRC electrical cleaner, in general it’s accepted to replace this connector with either a junked Saturn’s IAT connector (same sensor, same wiring) or an LED connector from an old computer. Be sure to solder and heat-shrink wrap your splices!! When in doubt, replace the ECTS anyway. It’s only $10 or so, and just because it’s brass, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bulletproof.
ECTS/connector R&R: http://www.youtu.be/cucm7QGlsYs
Using a PC motherboard connector for the ECTS: http://www.youtu.be/9ageV7g6eyw

2. Thermostat. This is another “heart” to maintaining good fuel economy. It can also help with having good, toasty heat in the winter. Old thermostats like to fail in one of two positions: Open, which doesn’t allow the engine to reach normal operating temperature (at best the gauge will peg at ľ line or ~160 degrees F or LOWER – BAD NEWS for your engine and heat!), or closed, which will allow for the kick-butt fuel economy AND heating, but has one downside: it can cause your engine to overheat. More often than not it will fail open though. It is recommended to replace this with a STANT 14279 188/195 degrees F thermostat.
Thermostat R&R: http://www.youtu.be/JEoLFrg8IUI

3. Front Oxygen Sensor (on the exhaust manifold). Whilst not a common issue, it’s worth mentioning, as it’s the third “heart” to maintaining good fuel economy and emissions, as this also controls the open/closed loop operation. It is the last to warm up as part of the car’s normal operation. If it goes into open loop when it should be closed, you can experience rich running; if it goes closed loop when it should be open, it will run lean.

To test your exhaust manifold O2 sensor, you'll need a propane torch and a voltmeter. If you don't have a torch, one is here:

http://www.harborfreight.com/electri...rch-91061.html

The propane cans it takes are 1.02#, usually found in the camping department of Walmart* and/or K-Mart, no more than $5. You also have to remove the black plastic thing off the torch head (where the electrode is) and press the red button to check for a hairline spark to make sure it'll light. No propane is required or recommended for this quick Q/A test. And YES, the cap has to be off, or else it won't even light. Its instruction manual doesn't even mention this.

http://www.youtu.be/vdn4Dk5PSwc -- this'll put everything into perspective for you. Basically the sensor voltage needs to hit .9v within a minute and stay consistent (eg: little to no fluctuation), and upon removal of the sensor from the flame, it needs to go back to .1 and then 0v within three seconds. Make sure to get the sensor head as close as possible to the base of the torch flame.

WARNING: The O2 sensor will be piping hot after this test. Be sure to have some decent heat resistant gloves on hand before attempting this, and let the sensor cool down some before re-installing it into the manifold.

Oh yeah, if you need an O2 sensor, recommended brands are Denso and NGK/NTK.

*Credits for the testing instructions go to OldNuc*

Exhaust manifold O2 sensor R&R here: http://www.youtu.be/ju7Znf3Z01A

3.5. Recommended times to test your front O2 sensor. It should ideally be done if an advanced code reader (scan gauge, tech-2, the expensive stuff Snap-On and such provide, etc) finds a LOOP IS OPEN condition in the freeze frame data or in real time (especially with the engine temperature at or around 195 degrees F), and/or whenever you get one (or more) of the following SES codes set:

P0030 HO2S Heater Control Circuit (Bank 1 Sensor 1)
P0031 HO2S Heater Control Circuit Low (Bank 1 Sensor 1)
P0032 HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 1 Sensor 1)
P0053 HO2S Heater Resistance (Bank 1, Sensor 1)
P0130 02 Sensor Circuit Malfunction (Bank I Sensor 1)
P0131 02 Sensor Circuit Low Voltage (Bank I Sensor I)
P0132 02 Sensor Circuit High Voltage (Bank I Sensor 1)
P0133 02 Sensor Circuit Slow Response (Bank 1 Sensor 1)
P0134 02 Sensor Circuit No Activity Detected (Bank I Sensor 1)
P0135 02 Sensor Heater Circuit Malfunction (Bank 1 Sensor 1)
P0170 Fuel Trim Malfunction (Bank 1)
P0171 System too Lean (Bank 1)
P0172 System too Rich (Bank 1)
P0420 Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 1)
P0421 Warm Up Catalyst Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 1)

4. Spark Plugs and Wires. You should change these every two years or 30k miles; wires I personally would let go until every 60k miles or if you get any kind of P0340/P0341 or misfire codes. ALWAYS USE NGK COPPER SPARK PLUGS, and any mid-priced wire set. I personally prefer AC-Delco wires.
As a note, if you DO get a P0340 and/or P0341 code, it’s time to change the spark plugs and wires, and even clean/inspect the ignition coils/module. If ignition coils/module have to be replaced, it’s always best to find them from any junked Saturn, 1991-2002. ALWAYS use NGK coppers, as the platinum plugs can screw with the G.M. waste spark system, causing misfires, running rough, etc.
Spark plug R&R: http://www.youtu.be/UqB2nq0V07c
Spark plug wire R&R: http://www.youtu.be/Gq5hRTjll3E (don’t worry about the retainer; that’s on 3rd gen engines IIRC)
Ignition coil/module R&R: http://www.youtu.be/8XgHM1i5jK8

5. Fuel Filters. 1991-1997, it really doesn’t matter what brand you use, for the most part. 1998-2002, however, does. It matters in those years due to the pressure regulator being built into the filter. If the regulator isn’t working properly, it can cause lean running mixtures sent to the engine, causing burnt valves and other costly headaches. For this reason, it’s best to replace with either an OEM, WIX, or NAPA fuel filter.
Fuel Filter R&R of a 1998-2002 S-series: http://www.youtu.be/lVeyA6B2afU (turn this one up, it’s kinda quiet)

6. Water Pump. At 10-12 years (or 100-120k miles) these like to leak coolant ALL OVER the backside of your front passenger’s side tire, usually mandating a tow truck to come rescue you. When in doubt, or if it’s past any multiple of 100k-120k miles, REPLACE ASAP as a preventative maintenance measure.
Water Pump R&R: http://www.youtu.be/nRbUjGLviMY
Also check this out: http://www.youtu.be/pRpG1BIVRcc

7. Radiator. At 10-12 years, these like to pop at the driver’s side endtank, usually around the transaxle cooling line input. At first these can start off as steam leaks, but can evolve to something worse, REALLY fast, to where you’d need a tow truck to bail you out. Trust me, it has happened to me once. Recommended brands of replacement are Silla and Delphi.
Radiator R&R: http://www.youtu.be/4nUyGjeLpVs

8. Radiator cooling fan. At unknown intervals (this happens more often in the “Sun Belt” than other places), the fan motors like to go out, also aiding in overheating, poor running air conditioning, etc. If you suspect any of these conditions, hot-wire the fan motor to the battery. If it doesn’t scream while running, it’s time to replace it.
Cooling fan R&R and testing: http://www.youtu.be/VnFFEFrlXlo

9. Coolant. This should be flushed every five years or 100k miles (or if using the green stuff, two years or 30k miles). When in doubt, or when it’s past any year/mileage flush interval, DO SO, especially after doing any kind of cooling system maintenance (replacing hoses, water pump, radiator, thermostat, etc). Flushing at regular intervals can help keep your water pump in check and can help maintain a good, solid inside part of your engine where everything flows as it should, as the additives in coolant will deplete over time, making it dirty and sludgy. Most board members prefer using the green coolant as opposed to the OEM Dex-cool; this horse has been beat to death MANY times in the past.
Flushing instructions: http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...89&postcount=1

9.5. Coolant light making itself known, full reservoir of coolant, and you. Chances are the float is stuck in your coolant reservoir, causing it to erratically turn on. The cure for this is that it needs to be cleaned out.
Reservoir cleaning: http://www.youtu.be/5814yr2p_Y

10. Stop-leak products of ANY kind. Ah yes, the legendary fix in a can, which can instantaneously repair ANY kind of leak, ANYWHERE on your car’s system (coolant, engine oil, transaxle, air conditioner, etc). It should be noted that these products simply DO NOT WORK, and when they do, they either don’t hold out for very long, or simply make your problems worse. It’s ALWAYS best to repair ANY kind of leak, the CORRECT way, even if it’ll initially lead into a big repair bill (because hey, using the stop leak will accelerate that bill faster and you’ll have to pay up at some point anyway, right..? or maybe that stop leak will accelerate that bill in other, unknown ways, like clogging the heater core or A/C compressor...?).
It should be noted that the ONLY exception to this is the Bar’s Leaks ginger root seal, or about 30-50 grams of ginger root, put into the cooling system. This will help stop MINOR head gasket leaks and prevent them. It was used from the factory, from day one. (ALWAYS heed the dosage requirements.)

***continued in the second post, due to the 10,000 character limit***

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to adventureoflink's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help adventureoflink reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
adventureoflink is offline   Reply With Quote
SaturnFans.com Sponsored Links
Old 02-28-2012, 11:23 PM   #2
adventureoflink
Master Member
adventureoflink has a spectacular aura aboutadventureoflink has a spectacular aura aboutadventureoflink has a spectacular aura about
 
adventureoflink's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: 255.255.255.255
Posts: 6,853

1997 SL2
Default Re: New or Returning S-Series owners' checklist Version 3.0

***continued from post #1***

11. Oil and filters. Iím not going to get into a big argument here about oil and filters (itís been beaten like a dead horse too many times to count), though most board members claim success with various diesel oils, and ESPECIALLY Mobil-1 full synthetic oil. Most filters are good; many members claim success with Ford Motocraft, AC-Delco, Purolator, K&N, and WIX Oil filters, long or short. Be sure to use 5w-30 oil whenever possible, but you can use 10w-30 in the summer months (or all year round if you live in the ďSun BeltĒ). Be sure to also replace with about four quarts of oil; you may need a little more if youíre using a long filter.
Oil/filter R&R here: http://www.youtu.be/E_AtxXKU1h4 (though it IS possible to get at it from underneath using ramps/jackstands)

11.5. Old Saturns NEVER die, People KILL Ďem, SO CHECK YOUR DAMN OIL!! Ė Wolfman
Do so, as these Saturns LOVE to go through oil. Check your oil especially during the first few fillups to get an idea on how much oil you're using. Usually 1 quart per 1,000 miles isn't too bad. If your oil burning is bad/severe, people have had hit and miss luck by doing piston soaks with additives such as MMO, Auto-Rx, and SeaFoam. The only tried and true way to curb the burning is to re-ring the pistons and drill drain holes in them.
If, however, you also have a leak, first thing to do is check the spark plugs for oil soaks, as well as anywhere around the valve cover (AKA that thing that says OHV/EFI for SOHC engines and TWIN CAM 16 VALVE for DOHC engines). If you see it leaking out of there (and/or in the spark plug holes, usually #1), chances are you need a new valve cover gasket, and probably a new valve cover itself due to warpage. Many board members have had success yanking a valve cover off a gen-1 engine (due to the aluminum design) and swapping it. BE SURE TO ALSO GRAB THE BOLTS FOR THAT COVER.
Also keep in mind, that with the oil burning that these cars do, you may need to replace your cataclyctic converter sooner than normalÖ

12. Motor Mount. Put it this way: If you get all kinds of vibrations, AND you can fit your fingers between the metal and rubber part of the mount, itís time to just replace it. Be sure to replace with a SOLID mount only, preferably OEM. Although most board members claim success with parts store SOLID mounts (when and if they find them), sometimes itís for the better to go OEM with this one. DO NOT use frowny style mounts, as these can make your problems MUCH worse, AND can even take the studs and timing cover along with it. When going to the parts store, do inspect the mounts they offer, as every once in awhile they will unwillingly stock a solid mount (even though 8 times out of 10 itís the crap-o frowny ones).
Upper motor mount R&R: http://www.youtu.be/zaugUfILmGE
Mount testing: http://www.youtu.be/xWN3tplXr8U

13. AAA membership. For ANY S-series 1991-2002 (and any used car made over five years ago, let alone something already paid for), itís best to carry one of these on you. When possible, just ignore the fact that you have roadside assistance through your insurance company, as it either:
* may not cover everything
* it can count against you as part of your claims history AND can be grounds for termination through your insurance
* you may have to pay first and then get reimbursed later
So in the long run, just purchase a AAA membership. Itís not all that expensive, AND can be REALLY handy if you get in a pinch.

14. Battery. Every five years (or when itís close to its out of warranty period, whatever comes first) replace it as part of preventative maintenance. If itís let go, it can cause your starting to be slower than usual, wonít charge all the way, the heater wonít work as it should, automatic transaxles can slam/slip, ABS lights will come and go as they please, etc. And if you let it go too long, it can even take out your alternator, causing an expensive (and usually avoidable and unnecessary) repair. While R&Ríing the battery, itís best to also check the terminals for corrosion and clean/replace as necessary.
Battery mount R&R: http://www.youtu.be/8MUUY2EE38c

15. Starts up, runs for ~10 minutes, once it reaches operating temperature, itíll die and wonít restart until itís cooled down. This is the end result of a crankshaft position sensor headache. This is THE heart and soul of an EFI system, as it senses the crank, when to send spark, etc. On Saturns, itís usually above and behind the starter, and you need a 10mm head socket to remove the one bolt it supports itself to. 99% of the time, you will NOT get a crankshaft position sensor code (although there are codes designated for it and people HAVE tripped one in the past) due to it being the heart and soul of the EFI system. No CPS = no spark or crank sensing = dead engine.
CPS R&R: http://www.youtu.be/PVTFFOwqNZM (word of warning, be sure to have good speakers and turn this video up louder than normal, itís kinda quiet)


16. Towing/hauling. Keep in mind that these are small cars, NOT trucks or old muscle cars. These Saturns were meant to compete with other compacts, domestic and import. That being said, the weight limit is 1,000#s. Hint: U-haul hitches and trailers will usually eat up ~250-700#s of this weight limit. Going over this limit might result in unneeded wear/tear on your drivetrain, if not the load ripping off of the vehicle. For better results with towing/hauling heavy loads, you might want to use a higher octane fuel (and the ownerís manual DOES recommends this).

17. Fuel octanes. Whenever possible, just use 87, preferably from a source that does NOT use ethanol. Not only is it the cheapest, but using a higher octane usually doesnít help with fuel economy. The only times I would suggest using a higher octane fuel would be:
* in the sun/humid belt regions, when itís over 100 degrees F
* to help diagnose/troubleshoot knocking/pinging
* towing/hauling heavy loads
(note: these tips also come from the ownerís manual as well, for all the anti-higher-than-87-octane people out there.)

18. Intake Manifold (Gaskets).

* 2000-2002 SOHC engines: P0301 + P0507 = a nice recipe for a soured intake manifold gasket. Due to a defect from the factory (either miscalibrated robots or a bad IM gasket), these things like to leak vaccuum and set these two SES codes usually right around... NOW. These two codes, as well as spraying brake cleaner around the cyl #1 area will confirm this.
* 1999.5-2001/2002 DOHC engines: these liked to leak coolant, and there is a TSB out there for it.

19. SOHC engines, oil in the coolant, and you. 1995-2002 SOHC engines from time to time will pop the head (usually around the #5 can journal), causing a hairline crack to leak oil into the coolant.

20. Throttle Body. I'm sure you've noticed a sticking accelerator (NOT like the Toyotas mind you), slightly less gas mileage, harder to push in the accelerator, idle being funky especially when stopping at stop lights/signs, right? If so, these are the classic signs of needing to give your throttle body and IAC (Idle Air Control) Valve a good scrubdown. Oh yeah, if you start the car, the idle pegs at ~2,000 RPM, and you shut the car down and it goes away, it's time to replace the TPS (Throttle Position Sensor). Don't worry, it's also right on the Throttle Body as well.
Throttle Body/IAC Valve Cleaning: http://www.youtu.be/Pc5qCuQLmFE

21. Power losses. If you notice one as well as a code P0404, and slightly lower fuel economy, it's time to clean or replace your EGR valve. You can verify the power loss by blocking the EGR valve with a temporary gasket; some people like to use a soda pop can, others like to use two quarters. For long-term testing I'd recommend two quarters, as the heat can melt the aluminum on the pop can.
EGR R&R and cleaning: http://www.youtu.be/bt5lRTt6BsU

If the EGR doesn't help the loss of power, you may have an exhaust restriction (usually the cataclyctic converter melting on you internally and blocking it). Verify this by removing the front O2 sensor (it's right on the exhaust manifold, AKA that big red thing on the front of the engine) and go for a drive. It will be loud, but if you regain power, then there ya go. Also, finding a red hot cataclyctic converter and/or banging on it to listen for loose cat guts will verify this as well.

22. Doing a compression test: BARE MINIMUM compression is 180-185 PSI across all four cylinders. Any less than that and you're looking at surgery. To see what you're in for, fill the offending cylinder(s) with a tablespoon of engine oil, make sure the engine is warm and full of oil and try again. If the oil helps, it's your piston rings; if it doesn't help, you have a bad valve (bent, burnt, etc). If you get a similar low reading from two adjacent cylinders (eg: 190-100-100-190), chances are you have a bad head (gasket).
Compression test: http://www.youtu.be/UdZHPa6fxjE
Compression testing a junkyard engine (Credits goes to ShawnV): http://www.youtu.be/z6jGloCPv_o

23. Rust issues. Despite these being plastic cars, there IS metal and steel underneath. The two worst locations are the left side of the front sub-frame around the lower control arm mount and under the step plates in the rear door sill area. Both of these can be repaired, but usually indicate there's more rust in the future (credits go to Spencerforhire). In addition, check around the engine cradle for rust (credits go to VUEmaniac).

**PLEASE NOTE: These rust checks should be done if youíre buying a car from the rust belt areas, where places actually see snow and/or have beaches near them. In addition, you may want to check the subframe, if you're having alignment issues and/or if the car has been wrecked.**

Subframe R&R here (Credits goes to ShawnV): http://www.youtu.be/gSSAbIKMVCU

***continued in the third post, due to the 10,000 character limit***

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to adventureoflink's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help adventureoflink reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
adventureoflink is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2012, 11:27 PM   #3
adventureoflink
Master Member
adventureoflink has a spectacular aura aboutadventureoflink has a spectacular aura aboutadventureoflink has a spectacular aura about
 
adventureoflink's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: 255.255.255.255
Posts: 6,853

1997 SL2
Default Re: New or Returning S-Series owners' checklist Version 3.0

***continued from post #2***

24. Automatic Transaxle Fluid/filter. This should be changed RELIGIOUSLY every two years or 30k miles. These Saturn transaxles can slip and/or slam easy, causing damage to the transaxle, warranting a costly repair and at some point, a possible towing bill. The fluid should be pink/red and free of metal parts before changing. If itís black/brown/burning/has metal parts (except during initial break-in)/etc, itís best to leave it as/is, since changing it might turn your car into a 2300# paperweight. Most people drain about 5-7 quarts of fluid out of the transaxle, and you replace by putting a funnel in the dipstick hole and pour five fresh quarts in (or until you get it in the hash marks). Be sure to use an OEM or WIX filter and any synthetic Dexron-III compatible fluid (though most board members claim success using Mobil-1 or Amsol fluid meant for Allison transmissions). Whatever you do, DO NOT buy into a sales pitch at the repair shop for a transaxle flush, as this can cause your problems to get worse or start to develop, even if you started out with good, pink fluid.
Automatic Transaxle fluid/filter R&R: http://www.youtu.be/Dfh9HGU3NXM

24.5. Transaxle issues.

Automatic: Slamming/slipping is a common problem on these automatics. You should first check battery voltages and the fuses. Battery voltage should be ~12.5v engine/accessories off, 13.8-14.4v engine/accessories on. If it's not there, this is the first place to look at: your charging system (up to and including the alternator and belt).
Alternator/Belt R&R here: http://www.youtu.be/iogtiYraHCg
And of course, if you have to replace the blown fuses, please do so (but you may also want to find out why the fuse blew in the first place).

***Credit goes to KingRex for this*** In addition, you may want to address the transmission temperature sensor. It is pretty much the ECTSís just as evil twin sister; itís built the same, wired the same, has the same connector, even fails in the same exact way!! (The only major difference is one sits in hot engine coolant (ECTS) and the other sits in hot transmission fluid (TTS).) This sensor, when it fails, can also cause erratic shifting. Itís been found that replacing this sensor makes the shifts feel more precise and a clean, crisp feeling. When going to the auto parts store, ASK FOR THE ECTS. As said, itís the same EXACT sensor, not to mention if you specifically ask for a trans temp sensor they may give you the wrong part, or it wonít be in stock at all.

Transmission Temperature Sensor R&R: http://www.youtu.be/JPt1iXzbxdA

If these steps don't work, and/or it's reverse slam, try Wolfman's fix here: http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23670

If, however, the Wolfman fix doesn't work, battery voltage is within spec, and/or you're getting FORWARD gear slip/slam, then you'll have to do some minor surgery, first the valve body. Special Forces is VERY GOOD at rebuilding s-series valve bodies and diagnosing transaxle issues in general. However, that doesnít mean you can test it yourself, as well as R&R it..

VB R&R videos here:
http://www.youtu.be/1tlzE9Jw-90 (part 1 of 2)
http://www.youtu.be/iydt4TLPXyg (part 2 of 2)
http://www.youtu.be/cwV4TPL3TDg (Update that address the rod)

VB selenoid testing (it should be around 4.5-6 ohms):
http://www.youtu.be/1tDmBlKn2jI (with cover on)
http://www.youtu.be/yez2cQL1ob8 (with cover off)

(Credits go to FiremanCV on YouTube for the VB videos)

If the VB doesn't resolve the issue, and youíve already checked for main battery voltage and corrected those issues, as well as addressing the transmission temp sensor and did the Wolfman fix, then chances are it's the input/output shaft nuts. USE NEW NUTS and put some thread lock on it. Torque all at once, and torque to 111 ft-#s for both nuts.

I/O nut R&R here: http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=98659

**Credits goes to OldNuc for the following info on I/O nuts for these Saturns**

Transmission gasket and nuts part numbers
21003202 is the valve body cover gasket. This fits 96-02
21001684 is the end cover gasket. This fits 91-02
21001679 is the output shaft nut. This fits 91-02
21001680 is the input shaft nut. this fits 91-02

Saturn OEM Parts Source
GM Parts Giant- http://www.gmpartsgiant.com/
GM Parts Direct- http://www.gmpartsdirect.com/
Get Saturn Parts- http://www.trademotion.com/splash/in...?siteid=214643
Your local dealers - http://www.partsvoice.com/

Here are some skinny sockets with OD specs. Need socket end OD of 1.200" (30.48mm) or smaller.
* Snap-On FM23, 3/8" drive 23mm 12-pt std: 29.9mm
* NAPA 23mm 12-pt thin-wall, special order: sorry no part#
* Armstrong 3/8" drive 23mm 12-pt, std #38-123: 30.2mm
* Armstrong 3/8" drive 23mm 12-pt deep, #38-323: 30.2mm
* Armstrong 1/2" drive 23mm 12-pt deep, #39-323: 30.2mm
* NOT Snap-on 1/2" drive 23mm 12-pt #SWM231: 31.2mm
* NOT Armstrong 1/2" drive 23mm std #39-123: 30.9mm
Snap-on FM23 or NAPA is the 23mm thin wall socket winner.

WARNING: Be sure NOT to bend the tubes on the end cover (that thing you have to take off in order to get to the I/O nuts), unless you want a loss of gears. In addition, ALWAYS use the OEM End Cover Gasket, DO NOT make a gasket using RTV or Right Stuff, as this will also contribute to the loss of gears/transaxle.

Manual: shifter feels loose and won't go into gear. this is either your shifting cables or the shifter bushing. To be sure, open your console to get to the shifter bushing. If the shifter isn't connected, there ya go. Use some zipties and careful shifting until you can get a new bushing. Use the stainless steel bushing (IIRC that would be saturnbushingman on e-bay).

Console R&R: http://www.youtu.be/J4wbyiSwSBQ (keep in mind this is for a Gen-2 Saturn without power windows; Gen-1 and Gen-3 will be slightly different. If anyone has instructions for Gen 1 and/or 3, Iíll include it in the next update. To remove the power window/mirror switch, just use a screwdriver and carefully pop it out. Pop the electrical connectors off with a screwdriver as well. Be careful when re-installing it though, you can break the clips.)
Shifter Bushing R&R: http://www.youtu.be/Oi6kOQg8xI8 (it's not a Richpin video, but it'll do)

When replacing the clutch, itís a GOOD IDEA to also replace the hydraulics with NEW, PRE-BLED units.

25. Historical/Vintage Plates. Since this discussion keeps popping up every once in awhile, here's some general tips to keep in mind when considering historical/vintage plates:

* You usually have set maximum amount of miles per year you can drive the vehicle (anywhere between 1,000 and 10,000 miles) -- some states require you keep a log of how many miles driven per year
* You can take it to a repair shop up to 100 miles away from home (not a problem with S-series, for the most part, but is worth mentioning)
* You usually can only use it for car shows, tours, expos, parades, etc -- usually, that means NO DAILY DRIVING!! (IIRC Missouri and Kentucky do grant a certain amount of miles for personal use; check your state's DMV/BMV/RMV/Transportation Cabinet/etc to be sure)
* You may need special insurance when it comes to historical plates -- check your insurer; sometimes I've heard you can get a killer deal on insurance. Also, check for any specific wording that a state checks for on the insurance ID for the insurance to be valid.
* The vehicle usually must be at or older than 25 years old before historic plates can be considered. Some states CAN set exceptions to this (like if the car has unique characteristics, etc, but your local DMV/etc will make the final ruling on if your vehicle can be historic)

Although you should Google your state's DMV/BMV/RMV/TC/etc for the rules/regulations on your state for historic plates, here's several sites for the common areas that our Saturn Fans reside in:

http://www.dmv.org (this site has general information on historic plates and other rules for each state's vehicle registration; when possible, ALWAYS look up your state's DMV on Google for the most current and up-to-date information)
http://www.nydmv.state.ny.us/cpl8faqs.htm#Historical (New York)
http://www.bmv.ohio.gov/sp_historical.stm (Ohio)
http://dmv.ca.gov/pubs/plates/specialplates.htm (California; look under historical plates)
http://mvl.ky.gov/MVLWeb/PIServlet?P...izeIndicator=Y (Kentucky)
http://www.hqusareur.army.mil/rmv/stateside_dmvs.htm (another general DMV site)

26. Info on the Compact Spare tire (Credits goes to alordofchaos): Check the spare in your trunk; they are all past their original intended life spans. It may still be usable in a pinch, but you need to check it and check the pressure (which is around 60 PSI).

If you do have a flat, only place the compact spare on the rear. This means that if one of your front tires needs to be replaced, pull one of the good rear (full size) tires and put it on the front, and put the compact on the rear. Several people have reported their front end hitting the ground when the compact is on the front. In addition, the spares were meant to temporarily support the weight of the car, and not propel it. Due to the lower profile, it can also contribute to blown differential pins.

***Continued in post #4, due to the 10,000 character limit, as always***

Last edited by adventureoflink; 02-28-2012 at 11:40 PM..

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to adventureoflink's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help adventureoflink reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
adventureoflink is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2012, 11:29 PM   #4
adventureoflink
Master Member
adventureoflink has a spectacular aura aboutadventureoflink has a spectacular aura aboutadventureoflink has a spectacular aura about
 
adventureoflink's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: 255.255.255.255
Posts: 6,853

1997 SL2
Default Re: New or Returning S-Series owners' checklist Version 3.0

***Continued from Post #3***

27. Saturn Worthiness Ė Whatís it REALLY worth?

27.1. Like anything else, it's all about LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. For example, in Calibfornia you can get a good running Saturn for as much as it did if it has major drive/power train issues (think bare minimum pricing being scrap value to no more than $500), if not $1000 if you're lucky. OTOH, someone in Kentucky could sell an equivalent condition S-series for $1500-2000, give or take. (Of course if the car has major drive/power train issues in general, it would only be worth a few Franklins, even if you're in Kentucky or some other area.) You should also check your local Craig's List for general pricing in your area. In addition, Kelly Blue Book and NADA will give you more ideas.

27.2. As long as the car is mechanically sound (little to no rust in major frame areas, engine runs smooth and gets to operating temperature and STAYS there, windows are in good condition, all interior items are present, good tires/brakes, transaxle shifts smooth, little to no leakage of oil/fluids, good battery, no codes of any kind, no dash lights making themselves known, etc) at this age/mileage of S-series in general, that's all that should matter. However, the car being totaled can definitely hurt resale value, in addition to your state/area doing emissions checks, and if it's failed it takes a hit on resale.

27.3. Riced or heavily modded Saturns will NOT re-sale for as much as you think. In fact in some cases it can hurt on resale. Even with body panels looking like a 'vette and flames that give ten more HP (), TV screens all over, etc. it's still a Saturn at heart. PLEASE, for the love of all that is holy, REALIZE THIS WHEN YOU MOD OUT ANY CAR IN GENERAL, NOT JUST THE S-SERIES. Try to keep the mods somewhat tasteful. A good example would be that one 1995 SL2 known as "Shrek", that someone keeps trying to re-sell.

Other than the "holy grail" SW2 with the manual and _some_ options, a Saturn is a Saturn, regardless if it's a bumblebee, white/red hot, home coming, etc edition.

28. Idea courtesy of cityhawk01LW30093SW2: a list of common acronyms for various parts on our (and other) cars. Some of these were described in the first few posts, others were typed out without an acronym, but whatever, here it is:

ECTS: Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor

TTS: Transmission Temperature Sensor

IAC Valve: Idle Air Control Valve

TPS: Throttle Position Sensor

VSS: Vehicle Speed Sensor

O2: Oxygen Sensor

CPS: Crankshaft Position Sensor (or Camshaft Position Sensor)

EGR Valve: Exhaust Gas Recirculation Valve

IAT: Intake Air Temperature Sensor

IM: Intake Manifold (or Ignition Module)

VB: Valve Body

I/O: Input/Output

MC: Master Cylinder

MAF: Mass Air Flow Sensor

MAP: Manifold Absolute Pressure Sensor

EFI: Electronic Fuel Injection

TBI: Throttle Body Injection

MPFI: Multi-Point Fuel Injection

DI: Direct Injection

SES: Service Engine Soon

CEL: Check Engine Light

PCV Valve: Positive Crankcase Ventilation Valve

TB: Throttle Body

PW: Power Windows

PL: Power Locks

PS: Power Steering

A/C (sometimes called AC): Air Conditioning

AT: Automatic Trans

MT: Manual Trans

29. Tweaked Saturn FSM link: http://www.mediafire.com/?ofliygqpep460un (it is 192.78 MB, so be sure to have a good internet connection, and it is for a '98)

30. Richpinís videos on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/richpin06a

31. Parting out an S-series. http://www.youtu.be/Act4ip_VLv4 (Credits go to ShawnV)

32. Low Saturn's website, which has good info there too: http://www.differentracing.com

33. Miscellaneous info on the ECTS and TTS:

If your temperature gauge STILL looks this after an ECTS replacement:

Then you need a new thermostat. In addition, double check the connector to make sure it is NOT corroded, and the terminations are SOLDERED AND HEAT SHRINK WRAPPED.

The following pics are the damaged ECTS/TTS:



This is a new ECTS/TTS, side by side with the old one for comparison:


Saturn 96 model year and newer temperature gauge reading vs. actual temperature as read from the ECTS.

GAUGE Reading..........ECTS Temperature..........Event
.....1/4.................................150 įF
.....3/8.................................192 įF...........T-stat cracks open
.....3/8+................................195 įF
.....1/2..................Ö.............212 įF
.....9/16................................221 įF............Fan ON
.....7/16................................210 įF............Fan OFF coast to 205 įF

(FWIW, some people, specifically on Gen-3 Saturns, have reported that the fan will click on at ~212 degrees F (half line).)

Last edited by adventureoflink; 02-28-2012 at 11:43 PM..

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to adventureoflink's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help adventureoflink reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
adventureoflink is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2012, 11:56 PM   #5
adventureoflink
Master Member
adventureoflink has a spectacular aura aboutadventureoflink has a spectacular aura aboutadventureoflink has a spectacular aura about
 
adventureoflink's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: 255.255.255.255
Posts: 6,853

1997 SL2
Default Re: New or Returning S-Series owners' checklist Version 3.0

Oh yeah. One thing I forgot to mention, is the infamous F-5 case.. basically it's due to constant loads (such as aftermarket radios, charging cell phones, etc) and those circuits, in addition to several others and the fuel pump, are tied into this same connector. It can lead to intermittent running issues due to the wire/connector being overheated (and there's a TSB out for it, though it's for 1995-1999). Gen-1 cars (1991-1994, based on interior) get nailed at F-6 and Gen-3 gets nailed at F-2. The F-5 connector is for 1995-1999 Saturns, though as said, this same exact issue happens on all Saturns 1991-2002, just at different places.

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=173989

(on another note, I've noticed it's been a little over a year since I started the original checklist... and as you can see it's grown A LOT. Thanks everyone.)

...
97 SL2
DOB: 3/19/97
Date Obtained: 5/30/07
Status: Alive, 1/2 exhaust

2004 Merc G.Marquis GS
DOB: 2/4/04
Date Obtained: 7/6/12
Status: Alive, no heat

Last edited by adventureoflink; 02-29-2012 at 12:09 AM..

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to adventureoflink's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help adventureoflink reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
adventureoflink is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-29-2012, 12:48 PM   #6
96sl1daily
Member
96sl1daily is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 197
Default Re: New or Returning S-Series owners' checklist Version 3.0

great updated list!

...
04 ion 180k daily driver
97 sl 5 speed .....sold still running great
96 sl1 5speed ....head cracked 187k

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to 96sl1daily's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help 96sl1daily reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
96sl1daily is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-29-2012, 01:12 PM   #7
David 93 SL2m
Master Member
David 93 SL2m is a jewel in the roughDavid 93 SL2m is a jewel in the roughDavid 93 SL2m is a jewel in the roughDavid 93 SL2m is a jewel in the rough
 
David 93 SL2m's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: 12 miles north of Rockville, Maryland
Posts: 3,594
 

2004 VUE 2.2L
2007 ION-3 Sedan
Happy Re: New or Returning S-Series owners' checklist Version 3.0

The new write-up is good. Here are a few suggestions.

For number 7 on the radiator, two things. First, all of the replacement radiators have openings and connections on them and these can be used for both cars equipped with automatic transmissions and manual transmissions. In the case of manual transmission cars, these openings and connections are simply not used Ė no need to panic. Second, most people with automatic transmission cars have trouble getting the transmission cooler lines to disconnect their compression fittings from the old radiator. The easiest solution is to replace the transmission cooler lines at the same time. The transmission cooler lines use "quick connects" at the transmission and these will not be included on the new transmission cooler lines, meaning the old "quick connects" must be reused or replacements must be purchased and used.

For number 11 regarding oil changes. At the gas fillup preceding each oil change, bring a 12 fl. oz. bottle of Techron Total Fuel System Cleaner to the gas station. Right before filling up, first empty the bottle into the tank, and then fill up. There is actually a GM TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) on this.

Number 12 is about the upper motor mount, also called the Torque Axis Mount (or TAM). There are also 3 other mounts that when failing can lead to vibrations and such. Two are commonly called "dogbones." One is found under the water pump and the other under the battery shelf. The last mount is the transmission mount, found almost mirror image to the dogbone mount near the water pump.

For 24.5 regarding the automatic transmission starting to have slamming/slipping issues, another symptom is a noticeable delay when shifting into reverse. This is mentioned but not until one-third of the way through the section.

...
As of Oct 2017
∙ 2002 SL1 128K
∙ 2004 VUE 120K
∙ 2007 ION3 108K
...
Past
∙ 1993 SL2 212K
∙ 1993 SC2 140K
∙ 1996 SC2 157K
∙ 1996 SC2 126K
∙ 2001 SC2, 145K
∙ 2002 L200 20K
...

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to David 93 SL2m's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help David 93 SL2m reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
David 93 SL2m is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-29-2012, 01:41 PM   #8
adventureoflink
Master Member
adventureoflink has a spectacular aura aboutadventureoflink has a spectacular aura aboutadventureoflink has a spectacular aura about
 
adventureoflink's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: 255.255.255.255
Posts: 6,853

1997 SL2
Default Re: New or Returning S-Series owners' checklist Version 3.0

Quote:
Originally Posted by David 93 SL2m View Post
The new write-up is good. Here are a few suggestions.

For number 7 on the radiator, two things. First, all of the replacement radiators have openings and connections on them and these can be used for both cars equipped with automatic transmissions and manual transmissions. In the case of manual transmission cars, these openings and connections are simply not used Ė no need to panic. Second, most people with automatic transmission cars have trouble getting the transmission cooler lines to disconnect their compression fittings from the old radiator. The easiest solution is to replace the transmission cooler lines at the same time. The transmission cooler lines use "quick connects" at the transmission and these will not be included on the new transmission cooler lines, meaning the old "quick connects" must be reused or replacements must be purchased and used.

For number 11 regarding oil changes. At the gas fillup preceding each oil change, bring a 12 fl. oz. bottle of Techron Total Fuel System Cleaner to the gas station. Right before filling up, first empty the bottle into the tank, and then fill up. There is actually a GM TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) on this.

Number 12 is about the upper motor mount, also called the Torque Axis Mount (or TAM). There are also 3 other mounts that when failing can lead to vibrations and such. Two are commonly called "dogbones." One is found under the water pump and the other under the battery shelf. The last mount is the transmission mount, found almost mirror image to the dogbone mount near the water pump.

For 24.5 regarding the automatic transmission starting to have slamming/slipping issues, another symptom is a noticeable delay when shifting into reverse. This is mentioned but not until one-third of the way through the section.
Thanks for the updates on the tips, but I thought the Chevron Techron was meant if you were having a specific issue, not to be used every time before you do an oil change (or more or less frequent..)

As for the dogbones, I believe there's a Richpin video covering the one under the water pump.
(EDIT: Yep, there is. The water pump mount is here, and the transaxle mount (though it's for a manual, no idea if the auto-tragic is the same or not) can be found here.)

the reverse slam/delay mention a third of the way down was kind of intentional. I DO mention love to slip/slam at the beginning, which I thought would've implied reverse slam, in addition to obvious forward slam. FWIW, I'd rather start with and check the main electrical components (battery, cables, alternator) and address the TTS rather than immediately resorting to snake oil or surgery. Hey if it's a easy and cheap fix, go for it

...
97 SL2
DOB: 3/19/97
Date Obtained: 5/30/07
Status: Alive, 1/2 exhaust

2004 Merc G.Marquis GS
DOB: 2/4/04
Date Obtained: 7/6/12
Status: Alive, no heat

Last edited by adventureoflink; 02-29-2012 at 01:50 PM..

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to adventureoflink's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help adventureoflink reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
adventureoflink is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-29-2012, 08:48 PM   #9
David 93 SL2m
Master Member
David 93 SL2m is a jewel in the roughDavid 93 SL2m is a jewel in the roughDavid 93 SL2m is a jewel in the roughDavid 93 SL2m is a jewel in the rough
 
David 93 SL2m's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: 12 miles north of Rockville, Maryland
Posts: 3,594
 

2004 VUE 2.2L
2007 ION-3 Sedan
Happy Re: New or Returning S-Series owners' checklist Version 3.0

Attached are TSB 05-00-89-078A, plus the MSDSs for GM Fuel System Treatment Plus and for Chevron Techron Concentrate Plus which are the same product.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf TSB_05-00-89-078A.pdf (42.6 KB, 394 views)
File Type: pdf MSDS_GM_Fuel_System_Treatment_Plus.pdf (31.5 KB, 145 views)
File Type: pdf MSDS_Chevron_Techron_Concentrate_Plus.pdf (121.7 KB, 163 views)

...
As of Oct 2017
∙ 2002 SL1 128K
∙ 2004 VUE 120K
∙ 2007 ION3 108K
...
Past
∙ 1993 SL2 212K
∙ 1993 SC2 140K
∙ 1996 SC2 157K
∙ 1996 SC2 126K
∙ 2001 SC2, 145K
∙ 2002 L200 20K
...

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to David 93 SL2m's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help David 93 SL2m reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
David 93 SL2m is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2012, 07:23 PM   #10
Montreal300
Member
Montreal300 has a spectacular aura aboutMontreal300 has a spectacular aura about
 
Montreal300's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: St. Lazare, Quebec
Posts: 185

2002 SL1
Default Re: New or Returning S-Series owners' checklist Version 3.0

Impressive list!! Thanks for taking the time to do this.

...
2002 SL1 (55,000 km @ 11/12/2016)
2006 Chrysler 300C (modified)
2012 Hyundai Santa Fe
1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to Montreal300's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help Montreal300 reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
Montreal300 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2012, 11:42 PM   #11
adventureoflink
Master Member
adventureoflink has a spectacular aura aboutadventureoflink has a spectacular aura aboutadventureoflink has a spectacular aura about
 
adventureoflink's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: 255.255.255.255
Posts: 6,853

1997 SL2
Default Re: New or Returning S-Series owners' checklist Version 3.0

Quote:
Originally Posted by Montreal300 View Post
Impressive list!! Thanks for taking the time to do this.
Yep, no problem

...
97 SL2
DOB: 3/19/97
Date Obtained: 5/30/07
Status: Alive, 1/2 exhaust

2004 Merc G.Marquis GS
DOB: 2/4/04
Date Obtained: 7/6/12
Status: Alive, no heat

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to adventureoflink's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help adventureoflink reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
adventureoflink is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2012, 10:09 AM   #12
Bernie
Member
Bernie is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: NW suburb of Chicago
Posts: 417

1998 SL1
Default Re: New or Returning S-Series owners' checklist Version 3.0

Adventureoflink, thanks for taking the time to compile known issues and other critical service information and updating the S-series owners' check list. It is invaluable not only to new owners but current ones as well. Again, nice job.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to Bernie's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help Bernie reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
Bernie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2012, 12:05 PM   #13
adventureoflink
Master Member
adventureoflink has a spectacular aura aboutadventureoflink has a spectacular aura aboutadventureoflink has a spectacular aura about
 
adventureoflink's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: 255.255.255.255
Posts: 6,853

1997 SL2
Default Re: New or Returning S-Series owners' checklist Version 3.0

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bernie View Post
Adventureoflink, thanks for taking the time to compile known issues and other critical service information and updating the S-series owners' check list. It is invaluable not only to new owners but current ones as well. Again, nice job.
yep, no problem buddy just keep the old and new tips/known issues flowing and as long as there's enough to update I'll keep updating...

...
97 SL2
DOB: 3/19/97
Date Obtained: 5/30/07
Status: Alive, 1/2 exhaust

2004 Merc G.Marquis GS
DOB: 2/4/04
Date Obtained: 7/6/12
Status: Alive, no heat

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to adventureoflink's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help adventureoflink reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
adventureoflink is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2012, 09:16 PM   #14
ehunter
Senior Member
ehunter has a spectacular aura aboutehunter has a spectacular aura about
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Pacifica by San Francisco Ė 5sp Ė Engine rebuild with the help of people here at 177K due to 500mi/qt oil consumption. After 2yrs I am back to 40mpg+ after discovering the refirb head I used was bad. Car runs better than a top. Now at 214k.
Posts: 1,456

1996 SL2
Default Re: New or Returning S-Series owners' checklist Version 3.0

Nice Job as always Mr Link

Here is something you might consider adding to your next revision.

How to clean/restore the paint on your car. Here is the reference thread with all the details: http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=171907

-EH

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to ehunter's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help ehunter reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
ehunter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2012, 04:58 PM   #15
adventureoflink
Master Member
adventureoflink has a spectacular aura aboutadventureoflink has a spectacular aura aboutadventureoflink has a spectacular aura about
 
adventureoflink's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: 255.255.255.255
Posts: 6,853

1997 SL2
Default Re: New or Returning S-Series owners' checklist Version 3.0

General starting troubleshooting (unless it's the dies while warm then crank no-start problem as mentioned before).

I'm putting this in here as a note in the next update, feel free to pick this one apart until then..

Keep in mind that for an engine to run, you need air, fuel, spark, compression, and the proper gear in the transmission (which is why when in a manual you let off the clutch with the transmission in gear but give no throttle the engine stalls, or you could be going 35mph or so in an automatic but hit the brakes REALLY hard and the engine stalls).

No crank-no start troubleshooting: If the starter won't crank over or keeps clicking, first thing to do is watch over your dash lights, inside lights, etc. If they cut out (or if the gauges get all wacky), then start with the battery and terminals. Make sure they are all clean and free of corrosion as well as tightened down.

Next, make sure the clutch is pushed in (manual) or the shift is in P or N (automatic), disconnect the S terminal wire (purple wire, on a small 10mm nut) on the starter, and have a buddy turn the key to START while you hook it to a voltmeter (put the red probe on the S terminal and black to ground) and you should get battery voltage. If not, then suspect a faulty safety switch (park/neutral for automatic; clutch for neutral), if not the wire. If an automatic, you may wish to try starting in each position to see where it cranks.

If the engine is warm (at least 160 degrees F or 1/4 line equivalent or more) when it no cranks, then suspect the starter heat stroke. Whacking the starter with a 2x4 or steel bar also confirms a bad starter, regardless. Keep in mind that you will only get a few more good starts by doing this.

If it's still a no crank/no start, remove the belt and spark plugs/wires. Turn the crank pulley with a breaker bar and the appropriate size/drive socket, CLOCKWISE. If it's easy to turn over, then further diagnosis may be required (however just in case, you could try turning each belt driven pulley by hand to see which one is binding). Otherwise, if it's tough to turn or won't turn at all, suspect bent/broken valves if not a siezed engine. You will need a new/rebuilt engine at this point.

If it's a crank/no start, then check for a loss/lack of proper air, fuel, spark, and/or compression.

Air: has your throttle body been cleaned? Is your IAC valve going bad? When was the last time you replaced your air filter? Do you have any exhaust restrictions (EGR failing and cataclyctic converter failed most common)?

Fuel: Turn your radio all the way down and put the car in RUN. you should hear the fuel pump hum for about two seconds. if not, start by checking the fuel pump relay by swapping it with an option relay (rear window defogger, blower, A/C, etc). if it works then replace the relay. Otherwise, you'll have to disconnect the fuel pump and check for electricity. If you get electricity at the connector, then the pump is suspect. Don't forget to also replace the fuel filter after replacing the pump.

If the pump works, then check for fuel at the schrader valve. a quick Q/A test would be to take a rag and press the valve with the key in RUN, expecting a healthy spray of fuel. If you want to be technical, it should be 51 PSI, key in RUN; 45 PSI key OFF. This can be verified with a pressure gauge.

Remember, for 1998-2002 the pressure regulator is integrated into the fuel filter, so be sure to use the OEM, WIX, or NAPA one.

Quick note: in the '97 model year there was a birth defect in the fuel pumps, which would delay starting, resulting in more wear on the starter. To correct this, let the car sit in RUN for about five seconds (or when the dings go away), and try cranking. This is due to the check valve being bad.

Spark: It's been covered in a light degree in the CPS point, but to review, remove the spark plug wires at the coils (noting firing order) and have a friend crank the engine with the fuel disabled (pull the fuel pump relay or fuse). You should see spark jump across the towers. If there's no spark, inspect your coil packs/ignition module for corrosion or damage and clean/replace as necessary. If this is a CPS replacement, make sure it's fully seated in the hole and tightened.

Compression was already fully covered in an early point (#22), no need to go over it again, however unless you're getting misfires or misfire codes on a specific cylinder(s) I personally wouldn't worry about it too much.

...
97 SL2
DOB: 3/19/97
Date Obtained: 5/30/07
Status: Alive, 1/2 exhaust

2004 Merc G.Marquis GS
DOB: 2/4/04
Date Obtained: 7/6/12
Status: Alive, no heat

Last edited by adventureoflink; 03-22-2012 at 05:11 PM..

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to adventureoflink's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help adventureoflink reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
adventureoflink is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2012, 05:45 PM   #16
adventureoflink
Master Member
adventureoflink has a spectacular aura aboutadventureoflink has a spectacular aura aboutadventureoflink has a spectacular aura about
 
adventureoflink's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: 255.255.255.255
Posts: 6,853

1997 SL2
Default Re: New or Returning S-Series owners' checklist Version 3.0

RKE: Remote Keyless Entry (put it in this format to put it in the next checklist update wrt. abbrevations)

Generally, for 1996-2002, if you have power locks, you have RKE. If you didn't get the remote, you can get another one. To verify the RKE module is present, here's a video on where it's at: http://www.youtu.be/eLf1cTmL1Wc

Here's the numbers that should be on the back of your remote:

G.M.: 16245100-29
CANADA: 218101368
MODEL/FCCID: AB01502T (on e-bay search for ABO1502T, it's a common typo)

If you go to the wrecker's/junkyard/pull-n-pay/etc for a new remote (or search on E-bay), then these remotes will work:

2 button (lock, unlock)
1997-1998 Chevrolet S10 (2)
1997-1998 Chevrolet Silverado (2)
2001-2004 Chevrolet Tracker (2)
1997-1998 GMC Sierra (2)
1997-1998 GMC Sonoma (2)

3 button (lock, unlock, trunk)
1997-1998 Chevrolet Astro Keyless (3)
1997 Chevrolet Blazer (3)
1997-1999 Chevrolet Cavalier (3)
1997-2001 Chevrolet Lumina (3)
1997 Chevrolet Malibu (3)
1997-1999 Chevrolet Monte Carlo (3)
1997-1999 Chevrolet Suburban (3)
1997-2000 Chevrolet Tahoe (3)
1997 GMC Jimmy (3)
1997-1998 GMC Safari (3)
1997-1999 GMC Suburban (3)
1997-2000 GMC Yukon (3)
1997-1999 Oldsmobile Cutlass (3)
1997-1999 Pontiac Sunfire (3)
1996 S-series (3)

4 button (lock, unlock, trunk, panic)
1999-2000 Cadillac Escalade (4)
1996-2002 Chevrolet Camaro (4)
1997 Oldsmobile Achieva (4)
1997 Oldsmobile Bravada (4)
1996-2002 Pontiac Firebird/Trans Am (4)
1997-1999 Saturn S-series (4)

(Credits goes to Saturninin for compiling the list and madpogue for the S-series corrections)

Third generation (2000-2002) is different, and you'll need to go to the dealer to get a new remote and program it (unless you have access to a Tech-2 of course).

Programming instructions: http://www.youtu.be/ac_lSBVXloQ

More info on programming: http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=59192

Manual Override and how to order a new remote from AutoZone (though since then Advance Auto carries replacement remotes): http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=152104

...
97 SL2
DOB: 3/19/97
Date Obtained: 5/30/07
Status: Alive, 1/2 exhaust

2004 Merc G.Marquis GS
DOB: 2/4/04
Date Obtained: 7/6/12
Status: Alive, no heat

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to adventureoflink's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help adventureoflink reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
adventureoflink is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2012, 08:23 AM   #17
alordofchaos
Super Member
alordofchaos is a splendid one to beholdalordofchaos is a splendid one to beholdalordofchaos is a splendid one to beholdalordofchaos is a splendid one to beholdalordofchaos is a splendid one to beholdalordofchaos is a splendid one to beholdalordofchaos is a splendid one to behold
 
alordofchaos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Central MI
Posts: 11,123
 

1998 SL2
1997 SL2
Default Re: New or Returning S-Series owners' checklist Version 3.0

Great work, as always!

A few minor comments;
Quote:
If you want to be technical, it should be 51 PSI, key in RUN; 45 PSI key OFF. This can be verified with a pressure gauge.
this can vary by generation - for 91-97, fuel pressure should be:
'Key turned to ON, engine OFF - 38-44 psi
at idle: 31-36 psi

For 98-02, 45-51ps for both idle and key on, engine off
(credit to OldNuc for posting the specs from the FSM - I have a 97 and a 98 and this caused me some momentary confusion )
Quote:
CANADA: 218101368
I think that's actually the Saturn part number. Us Yanks can search for that number, too

...
I'm not worthy to grovel in the shadow of Signmaster's wisdom

11/2016 red 2002 5 spd SC2 124k DD
7/2010 Craigslist white 1997 SC2 project
12/2008 eBay silver 1998 SL2 5 spd 102k, now 201k+ miles

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to alordofchaos's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help alordofchaos reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
alordofchaos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2012, 11:53 AM   #18
adventureoflink
Master Member
adventureoflink has a spectacular aura aboutadventureoflink has a spectacular aura aboutadventureoflink has a spectacular aura about
 
adventureoflink's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: 255.255.255.255
Posts: 6,853

1997 SL2
Default Re: New or Returning S-Series owners' checklist Version 3.0

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
Great work, as always!
Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
A few minor comments;

this can vary by generation - for 91-97, fuel pressure should be:
'Key turned to ON, engine OFF - 38-44 psi
at idle: 31-36 psi

For 98-02, 45-51ps for both idle and key on, engine off
(credit to OldNuc for posting the specs from the FSM - I have a 97 and a 98 and this caused me some momentary confusion )
Thanks man. The bigger number is with the key in RUN and the smaller number is with the key OFF, right?

And ya see, this is why I wanted the new additions to be picked apart till I updated it...

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
I think that's actually the Saturn part number. Us Yanks can search for that number, too
Nice

...
97 SL2
DOB: 3/19/97
Date Obtained: 5/30/07
Status: Alive, 1/2 exhaust

2004 Merc G.Marquis GS
DOB: 2/4/04
Date Obtained: 7/6/12
Status: Alive, no heat

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to adventureoflink's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help adventureoflink reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
adventureoflink is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2012, 12:03 AM   #19
adventureoflink
Master Member
adventureoflink has a spectacular aura aboutadventureoflink has a spectacular aura aboutadventureoflink has a spectacular aura about
 
adventureoflink's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: 255.255.255.255
Posts: 6,853

1997 SL2
Default Re: New or Returning S-Series owners' checklist Version 3.0

CompNine VIN decoder... http://www.compnine.com

(not only does all G.M. VINs up to 2010, but does the rest of the big 3, Mercedes, and Mazda Trucks too...)

...
97 SL2
DOB: 3/19/97
Date Obtained: 5/30/07
Status: Alive, 1/2 exhaust

2004 Merc G.Marquis GS
DOB: 2/4/04
Date Obtained: 7/6/12
Status: Alive, no heat

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to adventureoflink's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help adventureoflink reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
adventureoflink is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2012, 01:36 AM   #20
adventureoflink
Master Member
adventureoflink has a spectacular aura aboutadventureoflink has a spectacular aura aboutadventureoflink has a spectacular aura about
 
adventureoflink's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: 255.255.255.255
Posts: 6,853

1997 SL2
Default Re: New or Returning S-Series owners' checklist Version 3.0

Warning lights and what they mean (feel free to pick these apart, especially the traction active, (ABS), SECURITY, etc):

Orange/Amber Lights

Service Wrench (1996-2002): Means a non-emissions fault has occured in the system (in other words, a relay has failed, an instrument cluster warning light has burned out, the cruise went out, the power options no longer work, etc). You'll need an advanced code reader (such as a Tech-2 and the expen$ive all-in-one stuff Snap-on, etc provides), so it's best to take these to a garage or dealership for attention.

Service Engine Soon: An emissions related fault has happened. If your area does emissions checks, with this light being on, your car fails due to it polluting ~1.5x more than the federal or Peoples' Republic of Calibfornia program, depending on what your car is programmed for. 1991-1995 codes can be read with a paper clip; seriously. 1996-2002 (2010 if you want to cover all Saturns), the codes can be read at the FLAPS, unless you live in the PRoC. Either way, if you want help in diagnosing this code, in addition to searching Google and/or SF for the code number and year/make/model of the vehicle, post what the code is and your year/make/model of vehicle. If you have to get it read at the FLAPS (1996-2002; again, up to 2010 if you want to cover all Saturns), GET THE CODES (in P0XXX format), NOT their sales pitch/interpretation. For 1991-1995, post whether the SES and/or the coolant light were blinking for the codes; SES is for the engine codes, coolant light is for the transaxle.

Low Fuel: Means what it says on the tin.

(ABS): Means an ABS fault has happened; you'll have to get these read with a computer that reads ABS codes, a Tech-2, and/or the Expen$ive AIO units Snap-on and such provide. Which loosely translates into getting the code(s) at the garage or dealership. HOWEVER, even with an ABS fault, the brakes will still function as they normally will, you just won't have ABS.

Traction Active: Means the Traction Control is engaged and working.

SECURITY*: The security system is active and "working", depending on the situation.

Change Oil Soon*: The car's oil life monitor has indicated that it's almost time to change your engine's oil. It monitors various parameters of your car's operation, and depending on engine/driving conditions, this light can trigger as soon as 1,000 miles and as late as even 5,000 or even 6,000 miles.

*: Indicates that the light is Gen-3 ONLY.

Red Lights

(!)BRAKE: Means either the Parking Brake is still engaged or there's a hydraulic fault in your braking system.

Low Coolant/Hot Fluid light: this has a different setup in gen-1 and 2; gen-3 _finally_ separates these lights.

Gen-1 and 2: If these are on and flashing, either the float is stuck or you have a leak in your cooling system. If however, they're on and solid, either the engine is overheating or the automatic transaxle is overheating.

Gen-3: The hot fluid light is just that, either the automatic transaxle and/or the engine are overheating. The little tank with the down arrow light indicates low coolant, or the float is stuck.

Battery light: Means a charging system fault has occurred. Check for proper belt tension/condition, proper battery voltage with the engine running, battery condition, the alternator's fusible link connected to the main starter positive, etc. If everything checks out, then the alternator should be replaced.

Oil light: Ah yes, this light has caused SO MUCH strife and confusion. To settle it once and for all, it's an OIL PRESSURE light. When this light comes on, PULL OVER AND STOP THE ENGINE IMMEDIATELY to avoid potential engine damage. Continuing to drive with this light on can damage your engine.

Seat Belt light: Means the driver hasn't put on his/her seatbelt...

Air Bag light: Means there's a fault within the SIR (Supplemental Inflatable Restraint) system. Once again, these codes need to be read with a Tech-2, Expen$ive AIO units that Snap-On and such provide, etc, so these need to be checked out, preferably at a garage or a dealership.

Other Lights:

Left Arrow: Left Turn Signal is on and flashing

Right Arrow: Right Turn Signal is on and flashing

If both of these arrows are on, the hazard lights are on. If either or both indicators are flashing rapidly, either the turn signal bulb is burned out on that side or the flasher has gone bad.

Up Arrow (manual trans): Means that the computer has detected the proper engine RPM/vehicle speed for you to safely upshift into the next gear for optimum performance/fuel economy.

That green light that's above the service wrench on gen-2 and 3: The DRLs are on.

Blue light underneath and between the turn signals: The brights are on.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to adventureoflink's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help adventureoflink reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
adventureoflink is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New or returning owner's S-series checklist Version 2.0 adventureoflink S-Series General 35 09-13-2013 11:17 AM
New or returning owner's S-series checklist. adventureoflink S-Series General 36 02-21-2012 10:56 PM
.PDF version of owners manual?? Twenty4 Aura General 4 02-09-2007 02:34 PM
s series owners that now own ions saturn_guy Ion General 24 11-16-2005 04:00 AM
Since I didn't get any response from the S-Series owners Glacius Mods and Performance 2 07-29-2003 05:48 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:15 PM.

Advanced Forum Search | Advanced Photo Search


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SaturnFans.com. The Saturn Enthusiasts Site.